Also, listen to great related books, magazines, and lectures available right now from Audible.com:
Darwin on Trial
The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial
Scientific American Special Edition: Evolution
What's The Matter With Kansas?: A Lecture
It may be partially my own fault that I was expecting something different when i purchased this audio series. I was looking for an intellectually stimulating discussion (/hearing) on evolution.
Personally, I grew up in the UK in a time where science and the scientific method is considered of utmost importance. In my primary school we were introduced to creationism and educated on a large number of popular religious around the world. From primary up until university level education we were taught about the most recent and relevant advances in science. They were taught as 2 separate subjects. Neither posing an implication upon the other. Whilst it was an interesting listen, I found myself at times almost aggravated at the idea that a hearing such as this should occur. This audio series is a testimony to the ever growing censorship of education by an overbearing parent population. Hearing the entire field of "science" questioned (moreover misunderstood), and the argument for creation being worthy of replacing scientific alternatives left me dumbfounded and content to have being educated in the system I was.
Interesting non the less
"Fools Like These"
The University of Kansas, located 30 miles from the state capitol, did not have a single member of the faculty even attend any of these meetings. This university has a student population of over 30,000, is ranked among the top 10 land grant universities in the country, has graduated more Rhodes Scholars than ANY university west of the Mississippi River (incluuding podunk schools like Stanford, UCLA, CalTech, etc.). It was one of the original "backbone" universities of what became the Internet. It ranks in the top 10 of all universities in the number of incoming freshman with national honors scholarships.
The biology faculty at KU likely doesn't tolerate fools and has no interest, nor does any other academic or high school teacher in the state, in attending the school boaard's meetings which are open to the public and required to allow anyone in attendance to state their opinion. Is it not coincidental that not a single one bothered to even attend?
Listen to all four days of meetings. Try to find a professional who testifies other than some weirdo PhD from Kansas City who runs some sort of pharmaceutical comp;any and who states that his wife converted him into being a "born again Christian" (a phrase I suspect former President Carter would not appreciate). I've forgotten who the other niut is but the other guy actually sounds like he's making a reasonable argument and has been "featured" at all such gatherings in the past.
Don't believe everything you read.
Don't believe everything you hear.
Google this. Articles in the Harvard student newspaper are probably the most humorous.
"Think about the children"
It's nice to see that the scientific community gave this fake debate the respect it deserved by not involving itself in something it has already spoken so clearly about. Even now Intelligent Design has yet to publish an article in a peer-reviewed scientific journal and the reasons are quite clear. Their arguments continually use the lack of evidence for one view as evidence for another view. Children in Kansas schools will be allowed to prove they have a monster in their closet because closet monsters do not hide under their bed, and they checked under their bed and there was no monster. And if the teacher questions this the child can say "but look it's here in my ID book and thats science"
Their quoted books and studies(non peer-reviewed) continually use unscientific concepts that simply sound scientific to a school board with a poor understanding of the associations ID exploits. For example ID relies heavily on measuring intelligence and information in a system, but information theory provides no scientific way to objectivly measure the amount of information or "inteligence" in a system (see Mismeasure of Man). Back to a kansas classroom example, let's say a child scribbles a note and passes it in class but the teacher intercepts it. The teacher finds a seemingly funny set of symbols on the paper that apear to be a pictogram making fun of the teacher, the teacher ,knowing her ID quite well, realizes that she can determine the information in the note and determines it's a note making fun of him/her. Of course the reality is that the student was merely tracing funny shapes found in their text book at random and there was no information relating to the teacher at all no matter how much it may have looked like it. But this is an ID school and that student is in big trouble.
So sure this might be worth a listen but be ready for some serious thinking becasue the pleasant-sounding lies abound.
Poor Kansas students, how can we help them?
And it's free! I especially enjoyed the interrogation of the ID experts by the attorney representing the state. My favorite was Dr. Jonathan Wells whose book, "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism And Intelligent Design," is available here at Audible. There are other terrific ID proponents testifying.
"Are you kidding?"
I am embarassed to live in a society where facts could be portrayed in such an ignorant way.
"If you listen to only 1 day, listen to day 4"
All 4 days of testimony were riveting, but the 4th day is most telling. It has the least scientific information, but the most information about the character of the two sides. The laywer representing "science" does his side no good by demonizing and belittling his opponents, and resorting to logic as little as possible. Essentially, evolutionary theory comes across as highly religious and unwilling to see evidence outside its paradymn of a closed-system universe. The appropriate response to such a challenge is to dispute it, or simply say that as of yet no closed system theory can explain the phenomenon, but ID is not a useful alternative. Instead, the "scientific community" comes across as dogmatic, elitist, and anti-science by maligning ID as Creationism, and boycotting any discussion that challenges their views.
"How could this possibly be free?"
I stumbled on this series by pure chance and decided that I have nothing to lose seeing that it was free. In short, it was one of THE most riveting audio renditions I have heard in a long time. It showed me that people who are tired of accepting neo-darwinsm as "just so" are far more numerous than the press would have us believe and that the current naturlistic explanations for the specified complexity we see around us is hopelessly inadequate.
I did find it disappointing but not very surprising that no proponents of darwinian evolution were prepared to partake in the hearings. I too would also have been reticent to appear on an international forum and attempt to defend my view if it was so utterly factually vacuus.
I believe everyone should take the time to listen to this series, especially those who believe, as I used to, in neo-darwinian evolution.
No too long ago the majority used to believe the earth was flat. The majority turned out to be wrong. It wasn't the first time that happened and it definitely wont be the last.
I believe that what happened in Kansas is just the beginning. If science claims to be science it must go where the data and the evidence lead and not be dogmatic by refusing to allow only some things and disallow others. If the only viable explanation for something appears to be non-naturalistic surely science should be open minded enough to accept it until and if a better naturalistic explanation comes along?
This series WILL affect you, no matter what you believe.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.